President Barack Obama told the American people that last week’s murder of nine blacks in a Charleston, S.C. church should wake up Americans “to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.”
Here are the stats: Per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297x more than Japan, 49x more than France, 33x more than Israel.
The comparisons are a bit ridiculous and miss the point completely.
In Japan, the law states, “No one shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords.” Exceptions are few and far between, and licenses for hunting and sports are allowed only after a lengthy procedure.
In Israel, tens of thousands of people walk around with guns, most of them soldiers, licensed guards or members of first response teams, with virtually no incidents except when shooting at terrorists.
Two notable exceptions, often used by anti-Semites to try to describe Israelis as violent, were the murders of Arabs by Baruch Goldstein and Eden Natan-Zada.
They were exceptions and not examples. Gun violence in Israel historically is related to defend the country against terrorists.
President Obama wants to solve the problem of gun violence in the United States, but he put the emphasis on the word “gun” and not “violence, which is deeply rooted in American society from the days of the Wild West.
Obama said after the murders in Charleston:
It is within our power to do something about it. I say this recognizing that the politics of this town foreclose a lot of those avenues. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it.
Gun control is the obvious first way to find and quick and easy fix to American gun violence. The gun lobby has successful limited gun control laws, but the Charleston massacre may break the lobby’s back.
The more that guns are easily available, it is a reasonable conclusion that more shootings are likely to result.
The issue of gun control is so highly charged in the United States, under the guide of “freedom,” that it will be difficult to legislate and enforce stricter controls.
If legislation is enacted, it remains to be seen if those who should have guns will be denied them while those who should not have them will get guns anyway.
It is easier to legislate gun control than it is to legislate violence.
It is even easier for President Obama to decide what is best for Israel.
Below is Obama’s speech on Thursday after the murders in Charleston.